At what point after arrival at their destination does a refugee or a migrant stop being a refugee or a migrant?
Labels become intergenerational and referred to as the hallmark, the source or the beginning, when in fact, the true beginning is the person who stands in front of us. The sum of all their life, which is still adding up. The stories that made them who they are: the games they played as children, the songs they sung, the friends they had and have, the kind acts which are inspired by their values.
Fundamentally, the person they were before leaving their country is the person they are on arrival.
Despite their journey, they remain the leader and expert of their own life.
Their name is their name. Their dreams are their dreams. Their ambitions are theirs.
To us, they are a person who is our client.
Not a refugee, not a migrant.
To welcome them is to restore balance beautifully, elegantly and with humility.
We exist to truly be of service to our client.
To shine light on their leadership and their right to call us to account.
Belonging does not occur in a bubble. It takes preparation. It takes active consciousness to see the other, regardless of the labels socially imposed on them, as one like us who has a place next to us.
The preparation is exciting as we look forward to the richness each client brings with them. Then after arrival, the journey that unfolds becomes a collection of memories that they will recall for generations to come.
The welcome will be remembered whether done well or done terribly.
We do it well.
We look deep within who we are and what lens we each see the world through, questioning each other and ensuring that the morality that embraces difference is always central as we journey with each client, welcoming them fully.
Every welcome has the potential to shine light on us. To know this is always to practise compassion and to give the light back to the client whose journey feeds us. Each welcome creates instant balance, for we are equal.
The person they are and the person we are is no different. With this in mind, we welcome respectfully, suspend our judgement of the world we know and the lens through which we see the world. Then, and only then, does welcome infuse extraordinariness into both us and the client.
We are an organisation.
We are individuals within the organisation.
The responsibility remains with each one of us to do good work, serve well, lead well and above all be responsible without detracting from the person we welcome. Then and only then, is inspiration born and the welcome warm.
ALONE WE CAN ACHIEVE SO LITTLE…
TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE SO MUCH
As a small organisation, our capacity to service our clients is underpinned by our long standing collaborative partnerships. The sharing of information, experience and expertise with individuals, professionals, organisations, communities and other government agencies, ensures our services and programs are of the highest quality, relevant to our clients’ needs and result in enduring positive outcomes.
Our approach to cultivating these essential partnerships is to:
Partner with the individuals we serve as experts of their lives and their communities
Contribute to and share wisdom with Specialist networks inclusive of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) as well as a Refugee Services Community of Practice, informing service improvement to our clients
Open new avenues for clients to access a range of services by creating new networks and supporting existing networks
Influence other organisations, individuals and communities to transform and grow inclusion and increased access that connects the people we serve with the wider community, in line with their outcomes
Build a strong volunteer base